The Dallas Cowboys’ months of planning and courtship have led them to Monday: their highly-anticipated meeting with Odell Beckham Jr.
The star wideout is doing a free agency tour, eyeing a contender to join for at least the stretch run, but likely on a multi-year deal. He is recovering from an ACL tear sustained in the Super Bowl, but the fact that he’s taking meetings now suggests he’s close to, if not already, fully healthy.
Dating as far back as October, the Cowboys and Beckham have been linked to each other. During his weekly appearance on the “K&C Masterpiece,” on Monday, Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones was jokingly asked if Beckham was in the car with him.
“He wouldn’t be in the car with me doing this, I can assure you,” Jones quipped. “You don’t have long with these guys when they come in to visit. He’s got a busy schedule, and we look forward to our visit with him, Jerry and I do. I know there are a lot of people -- from medical staff to our leadership counsel to our coaching staff, right on down the line -- that are going to be visiting with him. And we’ll just see where things go.”
The Cowboys’ drubbing of the Colts on Sunday Night Football was another reminder that Dallas has a high-end group that could make a deep run this postseason. But Beckham is coming off a major injury, resulting in theories that signing the wideout is a move more with an eye to the future than this season.
At least in the Cowboys case, that isn’t where the focus is at.
“I think this year is our priority, as we sit here right now,” Jones said. “No question about it, I think everybody recognizes we’ve got a really solid football team that can compete to win a championship this year, and certainly that’s our focus. Obviously, we’ve done our planning and we understand how future years work as well, but our No. 1 priority is to win football games right now.”
The Cowboys have made clear they want Beckham, and have been candid about that desire to an almost unprecedented level. Now is when things get serious, but Jones wasn't going to get into where his confidence is at.
"It’s like doing contracts, as I’ve always said, I never suggest and never guess are we close, are we a long ways out – nothing is ever done until it’s done, and a lot of times it doesn’t get done," Jones said. "So we’ll just see where this thing takes us, we look forward to the next 24-to-36 hours spending time with Odell, and we’ll see where it takes us."
Jones’ brother, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, said Sunday night he was willing to do something uncomfortable with Beckham.
“I’d probably do something uncomfortable with him,” Jones said. “I could possibly do something uncomfortable with him. I’m going to have to because he’s coming back from an injury.”
Stephen Jones said he didn’t really know what Jerry meant.
“I didn’t hear it, so it’s hard for me to comment on," Jones said. "But I think anytime you stretch to make yourself better and you’re trying to make a deal, then you can be uncomfortable. Usually, the best deals are when both sides are a little uncomfortable, and it ends up working out. So we’ll just see, but I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that.”
Beckham met with the New York Giants last week, and also is expected to meet with the Bills. Maybe there will be others, but the Cowboys seem zeroed in on making sure the receiver lands with them.